Saturday, May 29, 2010

3.5 Weeks Post Op

Hi. Sorry for not posting anything for awhile. Things have sort of stabilized since my last post - nothing new happening with my recovery. Chin/lower lip still numb and I am still a bit swollen but I don't think you can really tell. One of my stitches came out a few days ago when I was brushing my teeth.. I don't know if that is something to be worried about but I guess I'll mention it to my doctors when I see them this coming Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2 Weeks Post-Op

Today marks 2 weeks since I had my double jaw surgery. I am feeling good.. swelling continues to go down slowly day by day. I no longer get stares when out in public so I guess I am looking more normal now =) I was actually expecting to bruise but aside from that light bruise on my left cheek (which is gone now), I had no bruising at all. Laughing still hurts, I think from the stitches under the top of my lip being stretched.. so I try to avoid laughing, but sometimes it can't be helped, and I end up in some pain =/

Yesterday I saw my OS for another post op. Everything went fine - short visit. I just got new elastics. My next post-op visit is 2 weeks from now. Other than that, nothing new is going on.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 11

Just got back from my 3rd post-op visit. I had to go alone today because my SO could not take off of work. I took the train - it was weird getting looks from people but I think they were mostly looking at my lips because they are so irritated - it looks like I have a rash. And, btw, the lip thing is due to overuse of the A+D ointment and vaseline - I was putting that stuff on like 10+ times a day all over my lips and the skin around it. My doctor told me today that my skin most likely wasn't able to breathe because of all the vaseline and as a result I got this red rash. So now I'm not putting anything on it and I'll see if it clears up.

Anyway, today's post op visit was long - about an hour. They took out the splint! I was so surprised they did that because initially they said I will have to wear it for 3-4 weeks - so happy about that - that thing was really annoying. Taking it out didn't hurt at all - they just snipped the wires that held it in place and it came out very easily. I think it was the splint that was preventing me from closing my lips (or maybe the wires that held the splint in place) because now I can close my lips. After that they put on some tighter elastics on each side, which means I can't open my mouth as wide but I'm sure they'll stretch out soon.

Funny thing happened, I was in the dental chair and my doctor comes in and says "You know I was just talking to a new patient and she has the same exact case as you and I mentioned to her that you were here and when I told her your name she said 'OMG, I've been reading her blog'" lol lol lol... What a small world huh? I ended up talking to her about my ordeal.

So I am home now and very hungry.. about to attack this blended food =)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 9

Today went by pretty fast. My SO was off today so we decided to take care of some things - went to IKEA and a few other places. My swelling isnt that bad anymore but I still can't close my lips and they are irritated.. and also my left cheek is a little bruised. So I did get quite a few looks but not as many as I thought I would. I didn't really care for strangers to see me this way though. After that we stopped by his parents' house - this was the first time they've seen me since before surgery. They both stared for a little bit and said that they can see the improvement in my profile and that I don't really look swollen, maybe just a little chubby in the face.

So now I'm back home and I'm about to eat blended tilapia with a sweet potato.. lol.. I know it sounds very appetizing blended fish haha. I have no idea how this will taste but I am hungry for real food so I will try it out..

I finished my anti-biotic already so now I am officially off all meds. Just taking a liquid multi-vitamin, vitamin C powder, cal-mag-citrate powder, Vit D and fish oil - I usually mix all of these together and drink up.

I decided to play a joke on my SO last night as I was drinking beet juice. After I was done, a little of the juice oozed out of my mouth and it looked like blood so I went up to him (he was sleeping) and woke him up and stood there saying in this whimpering voice "babe, somethings happening".. it took him a few seconds to get it and then he just jumped up like a grasshopper and started freaking out saying omg whats wrong, why r u bleeding, where's the number for the doctor, etc etc.. and it was so funny to me that I couldn't stop laughing which hurt so bad and in turn I couldnt explain that it is all just a joke ... it took like 5 minutes. In the end, not worth it lol.. because the laughing was a little painful.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 8

Today was yet another boring day. I slept very well last night though... for about 12 hours! I didn't sleep fully laying down but on 2 pillows, definetly not upright and it felt sooo good. As the swelling goes down (and it did go down quite a bit), I am getting feeling back in my face and it can be somewhat painful in a weird way. Laughing is very painful - I think because I have stitches under my top lip - that area is still very much swollen - which is probably also the reason why I still have to strain to get my lips to come together. Other than that nothing much is happening. I haven't lost any more weight which I am happy about.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 7

Almost a week since my surgery - woo-hoo! I had my 2nd post-op appointment this morning. They took x-rays, took off my old rubbers (I had 4) and put on 2 new ones - one on each side. They said I look good for just a few days out of surgery and were impressed at how fast I was recovering. I asked them about sleeping because I am having such a hard time getting to sleep upright, and my OS said that at this point I can sleep any way I like even on my face. I don't think I will go as far as sleeping on my face even though he said it was okay but I will definetly sleep laying down tonight! I have to come back again on Friday.

Right now, I am just bored because I have to be at home and that has gotten a bit old by now... I don't really want to go out in public yet. My lips are still irritated. They healed a little bit and then I went to the park and when I came back they were all red with little bumps/irritation in the corners again. It looks disgusting and hurts when I brush. Hopefully this goes away soon...

I am starting to crave real food. I was never a big eater but lately when I smell different foods, I just want to stuff them in my mouth. Five more weeks of this liquid diet thing... ahhh...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 6

Hi. Nothing new going on today. My parents are still here so my mom is bugging me to eat all the time. I finally took a poop last night and another one today - woo-hoo! LoL (sorry if this is too much info but nobody mentioned this before)

I think the swelling went down a little bit but my face looks crooked - they mentioned that my swelling is more pronounced on the right side so I suppose that's what it is... Didnt take the codeine today and I feel fine pain-wise. I scraped my tongue with a tiny tongue scraper the best I could because it was disgusting looking - now it's much better.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 5

Well it's day 5 today. My face stopped swelling up and I think it went down a little bit in my bottom lip. I noticed a little yellowish bruising on my left side. Got about 6 hours of sleep - so hard to sleep sitting up though - I am used to sleeping on my stomach/face so this is a huge change for me. My mom and dad are here today so just hanging out with them. Had rich protein shake for breakfast, took my vitamins and then had chicken broth with olive oil for lunch. Eating is definetly much easier -- takes like 10 minutes now. The only meds I'm taking is the anti-biotic and the codeine. No pain really, just drooling a lot and feeling a little bored. I was planning on taking a walk in the park but it's very windy today so I will probably pass on it..

Just wanted to ask, has anyone had trouble with bowel movements? I have not had a bowel movement since Monday (before surgery..) I am guessing it's the meds but just wondering if anyone else had this problem.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 4

Today is a good day =) I finally got some sleep - I slept for probably 4-5 hours straight and then another 1-2 hours with waking up in between. When I got up this morning my swelling felt worse but swallowing seemed to be better because I managed to get down a large cup of protein shake in like 20 minutes and then still took anti-biotic and liquid codeine AND some vitamins with 1/2 cup water.

I had to go in for a post-op visit today at 1pm. I met with the resident doctors there. They just looked in my mouth to make sure my bite was ok. They said my mouth looks clean and that bite looks good so they didnt do anything. They answered my questions and told me to stop icing because I most likely wont get any more swollen (thank god!) and to start using a heat pad on my face instead. They said it is OK to talk and actually encouraged it in order to exercise the muscles so I am trying to do that but sometimes it gets tiring. They told me I looked good for day 4 and said most people come in their pajamas. They asked me to come back on Monday for x-rays, etc.

The ride back home was very long - traffic - took 2 hours and I got tired. I drank a bottle of protein water while in traffic so that helped a little bit. I am able to use a spoon and drink from a cup but find that using the big syringe is the easiest and least messy so I use a syringe with almost everything I take in. When I got home, I had some chicken broth with 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil for extra calories. I feel really good right now, aside from some faint achiness in my face and the swelling. My face doesnt feel as hot/tight as yesterday and it is much easier to breathe - my left nostril is all clear but the right one is still a bit stuffy. I don't know if I mentioned this before but my swelling is uneven - the right side is more swollen esp on the lower jaw/neck area.

Anyway, I am glad that things are not getting worse anymore and I feel like the worst is behind me. My focus now is on getting as much calories as possible. I also think that getting out of the house helps so I will continue to do that - probably go the the park tomorrow or something light like that.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I made it!

I'm sorry for not posting sooner. But yeah, I made it to the other side!

I had surgery on Tuesday at 8am. I got to the hospital at 6am and got in my hospital attire, got weighed, etc and got iv in. The nurse that put my iv in asked me what type of surgery I'm having and when I told her, she said her daughter had her jaw operated on by my OS and his team some time ago. She had a tumor removed or something like that. She said my OS is top notch and I have nothing to worry about, which made me feel even more confidant in doing this. I wasnt really nervous and was trying to visualize a good experience during surgery (little bleeding, calmness) like my naturopath suggested.

Before I knew it another nurse was taking me to the operating room. In front of the OR, I was greeted by all these different doctors, residents, nurses, etc - at least 10. It felt reassuring that so many people would be participating and looking after me. They had me lay down on the table and covered me with a warm blanket. Then the anesthesiologist said he will soon start the anesthesia and i said "So i will soon be asleep?" and he said "yeah" and the next thing i know it was over.

Waking up was no problem - no pain in my jaw - just in my arm i guess from the position it was laying in - the nurses gave me a warm compress for it. I also received a shot in my behind for the swelling - i Think they called it the 'depo' shot but I could be getting it wrong - it was a bit uncomfortable. Anyway, surgery lasted 4 hours and everything went well. I was in the recovery room till 8pm because they didnt have a room available. I was having visitors and feeling pretty good - using my notepad the entire time. I didnt want to look at myself though because i didnt want to start getting negative thoughts in case i looked bad.

After they took me to a patient room, i started getting more uncomfortable. The catheter they put in my wrist during surgery was hurting. I told the nurse and after speaking with one of the doctors, they took it out which was a relief. At midnight they took out my foley catheter which wasnt nearly as bad as I thought it would be - i was really afraid of getting it out. Had a lot of trouble with congestion and breathing that first night and didnt sleep at all, but I had the most wonderful nurse that night and she tried to make me as comfortable as one can be after this type of surgery.

Felt a little better in the morning. They took me up to the oral surgery unit for x-rays and they also took out my cheek drains and all the head dressings. Cleaned me out a little so i felt a bit better/could breathe a little better at least for awhile. After that the nurse gave me some chicken broth to eat - I ate all of it with a plastic spoon. I made a terrible mess but the important thing is I ate it and it made me feel good/gave me energy.

Shortly after that they told me I can go home and i left the hospital at about 12pm. When I got home, things progressively got worse i think as i was coming off the drugs, liquids they had going into my IV. I had really bad congestion, blood started coming out from my right nostril which really scared me but it soon stopped. Swelling got worse. At night I didnt sleep -- maybe 1 hour - mostly because of the upright position and congestion it was very hard to breathe. I did take the decongestant they prescribed and also used the nasal spray but it was still hard to breathe anyway.

This morning, the swelling got even worse but congestion did improve a little as i cleaned out my nostrils with wet q-tips. I also took a shower/bath which made me feel better.

Right now, I am extremely swollen, even on my neck - and it is very hard to swallow. Took me 1 hour to get down 1 cup of protein shake. My face feels tight and tingles from time to time in certain spots. I get some pain, mostly in my teeth and pressure type pain in my face, but its not too bad. I took some Codeine so hopefully it helps.

I am worrying about weight loss as I was only about 98lbs going into the surgery. Weighing myself a few hours ago, I was down to about 95lbs =(
All I had today was 2 protein shakes (350 cal each) and some juice (about 150cal). I will probably have some chicken broth later. I am hoping I won't lose much more..

As far as numbness goes, I am completely numb on my chin and lower lip. My lips are very swollen and corners of mouth are very irritated/broken skin - i guess they really stretched my mouth out!

I have a splint wired to my top jaw and it feels really annoying and it's probably contributing to why its so hard to swallow. I have 2 rubber bands on now but they arent that tight because i can open my mouth a little and stick the tip of my tongue out a tiny bit. I was actually expecting to have my mouth completely shut after surgery but I could open it pretty much right after I woke up. It feels really disgusting and helpless to have all this mucus, blood, god knows what else in my mouth and not be able to swallow or spit all of it out. So it oozes down my numb chin a lot, which I am not aware of and looks very sexy! Lol... i had to change my shirt a few times.

I am really looking forward to things getting better - the swelling going down and being able to swallow better.

All in all, it has been up and down and like my oral surgeon said, I do feel like "dog meat" alot, but I imagined it to be much worse than what it actually was/is. I was expecting to throw up and be in pain and not be able to open my mouth at all, or not be able to breathe at all. I actually thought I won't be able to walk around and just lay in bed but laying in bed is the last thing I want to do right now. Walking around makes me feel better. Anyway, even though it's no picnic it's not as bad as I thought and I'm really glad I did this and it's finally behind me.

Here are some pics from the last 3 days:

Day 1 - out of surgery in recovery:

Day 1


Monday, May 3, 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

I can't believe it's already time. I am very anxious/nervous.
Going to the orthodontist today to put surgical hooks on.

Hopefully everything goes as planned and I will be back home Wednesday.

Wish me luck!